The Lightning paid a high price to acquire Tanner Jeannot from Nashville prior to the trade deadline, sending five picks (one in each round, first through fifth) along with defenseman Cal Foote to get the winger with the hopes he’d play an important role in the playoffs. Instead, he won’t be available when they start next week as head coach Jon Cooper told reporters (video link) that while they’re hopeful he’ll be available at some point, it won’t be at the beginning of their first-round series against Toronto:
You’d have to sit here and say he’s more than day-to-day. Hopefully he’ll be back here at some point in the playoffs, but he’s definitely not going to start with us in the playoffs.
When asked if Jeannot is expected to miss the whole series against the Maple Leafs due to his lower-body injury, Cooper wouldn’t go that far, only indicating that he’s not going to be ready to play when the series opens up.
The 25-year-old was a big surprise last season with the Predators, tallying 24 goals and 17 assists in 81 games, albeit with a particularly high shooting percentage of 19.4%. In the process, he looked like he’d become a part of their long-term core.
But things didn’t go as well this year as Jeannot notched just five tallies with nine helpers in 56 contests, resulting in GM David Poile opting to move him. However, things haven’t gone any better for him since the move as Jeannot has only a goal and three helpers in 20 games.
Of course, Jeannot also brings a significant physical presence as he sits sixth in the NHL in hits with 290 after putting up 318 in 2021-22. At a minimum, even if he’s not producing, he can still impact the game in a lesser role. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay that impact won’t be coming at the start of the series.